Parent Portraits

11 May 2019 – 8 Jun 2019

Event times

Wed-Sun 1-6pm

Westbeth Gallery

New York
New York, United States


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Westbeth Gallery is pleased to present Parent Portraits, an exhibition focusing on artists’ representations of their parents, curated by artists Robert Bunkin and Jenny Tango.


Among the most significant and intimate relationships we all share, parents are defined here as biological or adoptive, but not “spiritual” or metaphorical. This subject has rarely been the theme of an art exhibition. Many artists have depicted their mothers and fathers as a kind of search for their own identity or as a tribute to their nurturers and first patrons. We often have conflicted relationships with our parents and this complexity can motivate the work. Interpretations of this subject run the gamut from highly charged narratives to straightforward realism, with humor and affection along the way. All of the works are extremely personal expressions of the artist’s relationship.

The exhibition offers works by a cross-section of younger and older artists of diverse backgrounds, including works by Arnold Mesches (d. 2016) and Polly Thayer (d. 2006). The exhibition contextualizes these contemporary works with a visual timeline of historic artists’ portraits of their parents, including such masters as Dürer, Rembrandt,

Whistler, Cassatt, Picasso, Motley, Neel, Freud and Hockney. Additional historic images submitted by participating artists will be posted over the course of the exhibition.

What to expect? Toggle


Jenny Tango

Exhibiting artists

Robert Bunkin


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